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|State Police #||12-02985|
|Pollutant||Duration||Point Source||Greenhouse Gas||Criteria Pollutant||Ozone forming chemical||Amount of Release|
|Sulfur Dioxide||1h 47m||Refinery Flare No. 3||NO||YES||NO||3,662.0 pounds|
Accident Classified As: Reportable Quantity
While making observation rounds on May 14, 2012, operations identified a pin hole leak on the valve body of 70LV-149 (H-Oil unit). The operator immediately opened the bypass and isolated the 149 valve to stop the leak. As the bypass is smaller than the normal routing, this caused levels to build in upstream equipment.
This emissions event was not preventable. The valve failure and breach of the valves body was unpredictable. Additionally, isolating the valve by opening a bypass to immediately mitigate the safely hazard associated with liquid hydrocarbon spraying out of the pin hole in the valve body of 70LV-149 was the most effective course of action.
In order to prevent an unsafe condition from the elevated levels, operations stabilized the unit by flaring. Reactor temperature and charge rates were reduced in order to control the level in the unit while operating on the bypass. Gases were contained in the Flare Gas Recovery until maximum operating pressures of the system required the refinery to flare. Immediately, the operating unit reduced charge to minimize the generation of gas routed to the flare. Control valve 70-LV-149 was replace in-kind on May 16, 2012. As a systemic learning from this incident, a long term solution to future problems will involve conducting an investigation using a third party contractor to understand the potential erosion/corrosion mechanism involved with this valve's failure. Motiva will use the results of this investigation to determine if the metallurgy of control valve 70-LV-149 and the surrounding bleeder, block, and isolation valves are appropriate or should be upgraded. Approximately 3,162 lbs in excess of authorized SO2 emissions. Initial report states material went offsite.